‘That is one of the best reactions you’re ever going to get’: Shane Lowry aces 17th
After three-plus days of wind, wind chill and water, after fours, fives, sixes and beyond, came this:
On the hole that has befuddled the best in golf at not just this Players Championship but every one played at TPC Sawgrass, the 17th. And who better to go tee to hole in one swing on the “island green” than Shane Lowry? After his ball landed about five feet past the hole and rolled back to its home, the engaging Irishman went from player to cheerleader for a good five minutes.
“That is one of the best reactions you’re ever going to get,” analyst Paul Azinger said on the NBC broadcast. “Tremendous.”
“That guy knows how to celebrate. He celebrated with the Claret Jug as no one’s ever had,” said announcer Dan Hicks, referring to the aftermath from Lowry’s 2019 Open Championship win.
“Look at that face, though,” analyst David Feherty said. “Look at the face. Any excuse for a pint.”
After watching his ball disappear, Lowry raised both arms in the air. He turned to his right and three times pumped his fists in the direction of playing partner Ian Poulter. They slapped right hands and chest-bumped. Lowry high-fived his other playing partner, Hayden Buckley, and the caddies. Lowry twice raised his arms to the crowd around the hole for more cheers. He high-fived the caddies, Poulter and Buckley again. Lowry pumped his left fist.
He then gave his iron back to his caddie, Brian Martin. It was his second hole in one in a PGA Tour event, the first ace on the hole since 2019, and 10th on 17 since the Players moved to Sawgrass in 1982.
“Not many par-3s better to get an ace than right there,” Hicks said on the broadcast.
On the two-minute walk-up to the green, Lowry smiled, pumped his left hand to the crowd and slapped a few dozen hands. At the green, he reached for the ball with his right hand, raised both up, pointed behind the hole, pointed to the left of it, then tossed the ball into the crowd. A fan grabbed it among a scrum, ran over to the 18th tee box and had Lowry sign it before he teed off.
“You know, I couldn’t wait for him to hit that shot,” Azinger said on the broadcast. “I almost said it before he drew it back because you know just what a wedge player he is and felt like something special was going to happen. He is really playing well, very confident. Could have easily won the Honda a couple weeks ago. What a walk this is for him.”
“Something tells me he’s not going to be afraid to buy a few rounds tonight,” analyst Justin Leonard said.
“Yeah he wasn’t afraid last night,” Feherty said.
“He doesn’t need an ace, right?” Hicks said.
“He’s one of the most popular guys out here,” Feherty said. “He’s a pleasure to be around.”